The Agency’s Management Services Agreement stands up during the pandemic

11 November 2020

The Agency never imagined a pandemic when it drew up its model Management Services Agreement. We developed it for co-ops to use when they hire a company to manage their property without the need to be on site. The goal was to set out clear expectations for both the co-op and the management company. To do that, we included

  • specific services a co-op needs like
    • financial management
    • occupancy management
  • standards for management companies to meet like
    • paying bills on or before the due date
    • having a unit in move-in condition within 15 days of becoming vacant.
  • a fee structure that gives the management company an incentive to fill all units and collect amounts due.

As one management company representative on the Agency’s Vendor of Record list says, “The fee structure is a win-win. It is an incentive to reduce arrears, so the management company earns a higher fee, and the co-op has good cash flow.” Not only is there an incentive to collect all sources of revenue, but the agreement also lays out clear service standards.  “The Agreement sets clear performance standards and gives the co-op a good understanding of the scope of service we provide.”


And in these unusual times, the Agreement still works.

Even during the pandemic, co-ops are getting the services they pay for:

  • occupancy management
  • revenue collection
  • financial management
  • management of the physical plant
  • subsidy administration
  • governance and corporate services
  • personnel services.

The Agreement does not require management companies to be at the co-op all the time. They can provide many of the services and meet the agreed standards without being on site.


And management companies continue to provide good service.

Despite the pandemic, management companies continue to provide service. Units are being filled. Repairs are being tended to. Financial reports are being delivered. And all the other work that goes into managing a co-op is getting done. And it is getting done well, thanks also in part to the ongoing support of co-op boards and members.

Working differently during the pandemic.

There may be other differences in how the work is getting done. These may include:

  • Virtual meetings
  • Doing repairs using extra precautions to keep maintenance staff, contractors and members safe.
  • More frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • New procedures for moves to keep vacancy losses down while keeping people safe.


Working hard during the pandemic.

Management companies are always expected to give good service. But during the pandemic, sometimes they have to work harder.
One management company gives a good example. They say, “As a result of COVID-19, many co-op members lost income. To protect the Co-op’s financial health and maintain our fee, we have had to work harder to keep arrears low. We have been:

  • stressing how important it is that members pay their housing charges so the Co-op can pay its bills
  • providing information about COVID-19 related financial help and resources, and
  • respectfully reinforcing the by-laws to collect housing charges when all other fair and reasonable options have been tried.”


No one knows how long the pandemic will last.

The pandemic continues with no end in sight. So, management companies continue to

  • adapt as the situation changes
  • meet the standards included in the Agency’s Agreement
  • protect the co-op from an outbreak
  • keep their staff safe and healthy.


To find out more about our model management services agreement, visit our website or contact your Agency Relationship Manager.

Management Trend

The trend to hire management companies continues. 58% of co-ops hire management companies, compared to 28% that employ independent staff as their managers.